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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

HISTORY    AND    HUMAN    RELATIONS

majority of men to what is apparently a self-evident
conclusion. One of the dangers of history lies in the
ease with which these apparently self-evident judgments
can be extracted from it, provided one closes one's eyes
to certain facts. The person who is incapable of seeing
more than one thing at once—incapable of holding two
factors in his mind at the same time—will reach results
all the more quickly and will feel the most assured in the
judgments that he makes.

I imagine that if we wish to study the effect of

historical study on the actual conduct of affairs, one of

the appropriate fields in which we  can pursue the

enquiry is that of military strategy.    In general, it is not

possible to have a war just for the purpose of training

the leaders of an army, and it has been the case that the

teaching of strategy was for a long time carried on by

means of historical study—for a hundred years by a

continual study of the methods of Napoleon.    Since the

time when Machiavelli inaugurated the modern science

of war there have been grave misgivings about this use

of  history.    Machiavelli   himself  was   open   to   the

reproach that since he required the detailed imitation of

the methods of the Romans, he refused to believe in

artillery*    Similarly, it would appear to be the case that

if men shape their minds too rigidly by a study of the

last war, they are to some degree unfitting themselves

for the conduct of the next .one.    If a nation decides

conversely that it will set out with the particular purpose

of avoiding the mistakes of the last war, it is still liable

to be the slave of history and to be defeated by another

nation that thinks of new things.   Historical study,

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